Rural round-up

July 24, 2018

Crooks beware – Neal Wallace:

Tough new laws for stock rustlers have gained cross-party support and could be law within months.

The Sentencing (Livestock) Rustling Bill initially introduced by the National Party’s Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie in June last year has since garnered support from all parties and will make the theft of livestock an aggravating factor for sentencing.

That effectively increases the severity of the crime, giving police more options in the charges laid and sentencing by the courts. . .

RMA guidelines concern Federated Farmers – Dene Mackenzie:

Federated Farmers is expressing its concern about new Resource Management Act guidelines released by Environment Minister David Parker.

The guidelines are intended to assist councils in their monitoring and enforcement duties under the Resource Management Act.

Enforcement of the rule of law would always be essential to encourage broader compliance, Mr Parker said.

“This is true in criminal, transport, taxation or environmental law . .

Unintended results of investment curbs – Simon Hartley:

Proposals to curb foreign investment in New Zealand may have unintended repercussions for the horticulture and viticulture sectors around the country.

Instead of curbing foreign ownership, aspects of the proposals could result in foreign owners instead opting to buy more vineyards and land outright, undermining efforts to keep more assets in New Zealand hands.

Crowe Horwath partner and agribusiness specialist Alistair King said the proposed Government restrictions and legislative changes on foreign investment were aimed at reducing the amount of foreign investment in New Zealand’s pristine assets, such as high-country stations and large tracts of land . . .

DairyNZ facility a world first for methane measurement:

A groundbreaking methane research facility in Hamilton has been established at DairyNZ’s Lye Farm. It’s already yielding some interesting results from recent studies and has great potential for further research projects.

Managing and reducing dairy cows’ methane emissions is crucial to the future of sustainable and profitable dairy farming in New Zealand. That’s why, in 2015, DairyNZ worked with a collaborator in the USA to develop a novel system for measuring methane. This equipment, installed at DairyNZ’s Lye Farm research facility two years ago, is a world first and it’s already proving its worth. . .

Methane tools in the pipeline:

Methane inhibitors are looking like one of the most promising tools to reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

Here’s how your DairyNZ Levy is being used alongside other partner funding to contribute to the latest research.

The Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium (PGgRc) aims to provide knowledge and tools for New Zealand farmers to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The consortium works in collaboration with the New Zealand government and it’s partly funded by farmer levies, including DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand – two of eight funding partners.

PGgRc general manager Mark Aspin says the two problem greenhouse gases for New Zealand are methane and nitrous oxide. . .

Apiculture New Zealand asks industry to vote on the introduction of a commodity levy:

Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ) is now consulting with the apiculture sector on the introduction of a commodity levy to help manage and leverage rapid industry growth.

Chief Executive, Karin Kos, today announced details of the levy at ApiNZ’s National Conference in Blenheim. The ApiNZ management team and Board members will hold eight consultation meetings across the country to speak with honey producers and beekeepers about their involvement in the levy process. . .

Bayer Central Otago Young Viticulturist of the Year 2018 announced:

Congratulations to Annabel Bulk from Felton Road who became the Bayer Central Otago Young Viticulturist of the Year 2018. This is the second consecutive year Bulk has taken out the title as she was also the winner in 2017.

“I put more pressure on myself this year as I was determined to defend the title and go through to the nationals again” says Bulk. Her study and preparation obviously paid off and she is thrilled to represent Central Otago once again in the National Final. . .

Cesnik wins Young Champion Award – Jamie-Lee Oldfield:

Accessing new information isn’t always easy for the latest generation in the sheep and wool industry.

Which is why Young Champion Award winner Lexi Cesnik is so passionate about increasing knowledge transfer, especially among younger participants.

“There is a lot of new technology coming out, and a lot of that work is being done with extension in the private sector, meaning accessing knowledge is not as straight forward for young people in the industry as it has been in the past,” Ms Cesnik said. . .

Farming from the frying pan to the fire this year – Till the Cows Come Home:

April 2018 was a tough month. Every week, we hoped that the rain would stop and each week, the weather forecasters dashed our hopes as fields remained waterlogged, grass grew slowly and livestock lived indoors eating the last of the winter fodder. Many farmers, mostly those on drier land and accustomed to having their livestock out in February and March, ran out of fodder and had to purchase more.

The cows were indoors for months on end this winter. Every day of April was boring and repetitive, feeding cows, scraping and liming cubicles, trying to empty slurry tanks by a foot or so on a dry day, waiting for the weather to take up so we could get on with the spring jobs. Even when the rain stopped and the sun shone on the occasional day, the land was still too wet to withstand the weight of cows. On sunny mornings, the cows stopped and looked at me in disbelief as I directed them towards their cubicle shed, before they walked in unwillingly and begrudgingly. I didn’t know who to feel more sorry for – the cows or the farmers. . .


Rural round-up

February 7, 2013

Red meat sector ‘risks oblivion’:

New Zealand’s red meat industry risks oblivion in the coming decades unless it adopts its recently proposed $65 million development programme, says ANZ.

ANZ says the red meat industry development initiative is critical to the sector’s survival.

“The danger we face is that we are not alone in seeking to exploit the international market for red meat,” said Graham Turley, ANZ’s managing director, commercial and agri.

“If we are serious about wanting to develop vibrant, globally dominant and highly profitable agricultural industries, we will need all stakeholders in the industry to work together to bring about change. . .

New agriculture institute at Massey:

Massey University has established a new Institute of Agriculture and Environment.

It will provide knowledge to maximise the potential of the primary sector while protecting New Zealand’s precious natural resources.

Massey vice-chancellor Steve Maharey says a highly productive and environmentally sustainable agricultural system is vital to the nation’s future economic wellbeing. . .

$38m funding for greenhouse gas research – Allan Barber:

The Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium (PGgRc) has just announced that it has secured funding for a further seven years’ research into greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation. $2.3 million per annum will be contributed by industry partners to be matched by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment with the balance to come from AgResearch in its capacity as leader of the research project.

The consortium has been in existence since 2002 and to date has spent about $45 million of 50/50 joint venture funding from industry and government. Its members are Fonterra, Beef & Lamb New Zealand, DairyNZ, AgResearch, Landcorp Farming, DEEResearch, PGG Wrightson Ltd and Fertiliser Association Joint Venture. . .

World agriculture expert and doctor explains root cause of health issues:

You are what you eat”. A common saying passed down from one generation to the next. However, is it really as simple as that?

World-renowned American scientist and physician Dr Arden Andersen claims that the solution to common health complaints is more complex than simply a balanced diet. The explanation to our problems can be found in our soil.

Dr Arden Andersen is coming to New Zealand this month to share his secrets for healthy and sustainable living. He will be in Hawke’s Bay on Saturday 16 February at Havelock North Function Centre for a captivating one day course entitled ‘Real Medicine, Real Health’. . .

Sheepdog trialling alive and well:

Sheepdog trialling was once a popular fixture on Kiwi television. For 16 years we watched a man and his dog controlling a flock, hoping not to get that troublesome rogue sheep.

So what’s happened to the sport in the over 20 years since it left our screens?

Since the theme song faded away in 1992, sheepdog trialling has dropped off the radar. However, it’s not dying, and there’s a good reason why.

“Without sheepdogs there wouldn’t be a sheep and beef industry, and without sheep and beef there wouldn’t be a New Zealand economy,” says Sheepdog Trial Association president John Harvey.

The National Yarding Challenge finals were held recently in Taupo, with the hill trials in May. Rex Berkahn, 81, won the first two televised competitions in 1977 and 1978. . .

Top of the North first stop for TeenAg Competitions 2013:

Teenagers from all walks of life, from all over New Zealand, are being encouraged to enter the nationwide TeenAg Competition as it enters its third year. Nearly 300 students competed at Regional Finals throughout New Zealand in 2012 and the Competition is shaping up to be even bigger and better in 2013.

The first Regional Final takes place in Whangarei at the Barge Park Showgrounds on February 9th alongside the Northern Regional Final for the ANZ Young Farmer Contest and the AgriKidsNZ Competition. Competitors don’t need to belong to a TeenAg Club to enter the Competition and entry is free. . .

Green Meadows Beef Raises The Steaks:

Green Meadows Beef, a new family business that produces 100% grass-fed, free-range beef, is bringing a fresh approach to beef marketing and delivery so that New Zealanders can enjoy healthier, tastier and more ethically produced meat.

The Carey family founded Green Meadows Beef after realising that the best New Zealand beef is exported and never made available to the local market. The Carey family believe that Green Meadows Beef has a much better flavour, taste and colour compared to the beef presently available to New Zealanders. . .

And from Positivity:

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Rural round-up

February 4, 2013

Alliance taste testers help guide NZ meat industry – Dave Gooselink:

A team of 50 Southlanders have what some carnivores might see as the perfect job.

They’re the taste testing panel for meat company Alliance, charged with ensuring the company’s export lamb, beef and venison is gourmet quality.

There’s not a lot of conversation around the table. The diners are too busy eating prime cuts of lamb, cooked to perfection by an award-winning chef. It’s their job, making in-depth evaluations of meat.

“You smell it for the aroma, then you bite into it for the texture and succulence, then last of all the flavour,” says veteran meat taste tester Sonja Lindsay. . .

$21m of new funding to benefit research partnerships:

The Government will invest $21 million over a maximum of seven years to support research that will benefit two of New Zealand’s primary industries Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce announced today.

A $16 million investment over seven years will be made in the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium and a $5 million investment over a maximum of seven years will be made in Seafood Innovations Limited.

“Science and innovation are major drivers of economic growth and international competitiveness. These investments will help improve the performance of two key parts of our primary industries, and as a result the New Zealand economy will benefit,” Mr Joyce says.

The Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium — a partnership between AgResearch, DairyNZ, Beef+Lamb NZ, Fonterra, Landcorp Ltd and DeerResearch — will develop new technologies that farmers can use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without loss of productivity. . .

ORC split on water accord – Rebecca Fox:

A decision about whether or not to sign up to the dairy sector’s new water accord has divided Otago regional councillors.

The council, along with others nationally, has been asked to sign up to the accord as a ”friend” but the implications of this worried some councillors, while others were concerned not signing would alienate the dairy sector.

Councillors voted three times before a final decision was made to sign the document – although not all were happy. . .

Winton’s dairy vet woman of year finalist – Sally Rae:

Winton dairy veterinarian and mastitis consultant Kath Taylor is among six finalists in the 2013 Dairy Women of the Year Award.

She has been a dairy vet for 19 years, graduating from Massey University in 1994 and working in mixed practice in Taranaki for the next seven years before moving to Southland in 2001. She works for VetSouth Ltd in Winton, leading the milk-quality team. . .

Shearers take break before big Southland record challenge:

Four shearers are sitting it out in Southland in the countdown to a World Record shearing challenge in which they could shear as many as 3100 lambs between them on Tuesday.

Contractor and event organiser Brendon Potae says he’s given the quartet the weekend off after three hard weeks preparing for the Heiniger Four-stand Crossbred Lambs Eight-Hour World Record, to be shorn at Centre Hill Station, near Mossburn.

“I’ve told them to go fishing, sightseeing,” he said today as he and others from a support crew expected to swell to almost 70 people put finishing touches to the shed where about 250 people are expected to watch the event inside, with others watching on CCTV in marquees nearby. . .

Dancers for Farmarama – Sally Rae:

Tractors, motorbikes, farm machinery and dancing girls will all be on display at the Southfuels Farmarama at Lawrence on February 7 and 8.

The biennial event will be held at the Lawrence gymkhana grounds, opening to the public at 11am on the Thursday and 9am on the Friday. . .

Tru-Test Group acquires NZ’s leading milk containment and refrigeration company, DTS:

Auckland-based agri-tech company Tru-Test Group has today announced the acquisition of Dairy Technology Services from NDA. The move is the second such deal completed by Tru-Test Group in recent months, following its purchase of Radian Technologies (MilkHub) in December.

Dairy Technology Services (DTS) is the leading provider of milk storage and cooling systems in the New Zealand dairy industry. It employs 80 staff in its manufacturing facility in Taranaki and its nationwide sales, installation, repairs and maintenance and customer service operation based in Hamilton.

The deal reflects NDA’s desire to focus on its engineering activities in the dairy processing and transport, chemicals and refining, wine and resources industries. . .

New Record Top Price at Karaka Festival Sale:

Day 1 of New Zealand Bloodstock’s two-day Festival Sale was highlighted by a new top price for this session with the Swiss Ace colt at Lot 1149 fetching $125,000.

From the Hussonet mare Eclaircissement, Lot 1149 from Westbury Stud was purchased by Rogerson Bloodstock for $125,000.

Having a previous affiliation with the family, Rogerson was prepared to go beyond his budget to secure the colt out of a half-sister to multiple stakeswinner Illuminates (Strategic). . . .


Methane breakthrough but practical application 10 years away

June 2, 2008

NZ scientists  have made a discovery which could lead to a reduction in the amount of gas farm animals produce.

The scientists from the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium have mapped the genetic sequence of a microbe, which produces methane from the rumen of cattle and sheep.

Methane produced by farm animals accounts for 32 per cent of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

The consortium believed it was still five years away from providing practical solutions to reduce methane emissions, and another 10 years away from seeing cost effective changes integrated into farm systems and widely adopted by farmers.

There is no point taxing farmers, or anyone else, to comply with our Kyoto obligations if it will be a decade before anything can be done to reduce the emissions. Money would be far better spent on research like this than what amounts to a fine for a natural process.


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